http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/sub/...95140,00.html?

Published September 26, 2009

CDL sells over 200 units at Hundred Trees


SALES at City Developments Ltd's (CDL) Hundred Trees condo in the West Coast area crossed the 200-unit mark by 6pm yesterday.

As at that time, CDL had released 280 of the total 396 units in the 956-year leasehold condo, the developer said in a release yesterday evening.

Earlier yesterday afternoon, CDL said that it had released a selected number of units for soft launch at an average price of $895 per square foot (psf).

However, BT understands that the above pricing was for the initial batch of about 150 units released on Thursday for a preview to former owners of Hong Leong Garden Condominium (from whom CDL bought the site for the project), CDL staff and a few special guests.

A further 130 units released yesterday were probably priced slightly higher, market watchers reckoned.

CDL is also offering interest absorption scheme (IAS) in exchange for a 2.5 per cent price premium. CDL did not provide a breakdown on how many buyers picked up their units on IAS.

Although IAS was scrapped on Sept 14, a developer can still offer the scheme if before that date, it had entered into an agreement on this with a partner bank and had already offered units in the development for sale under IAS before Sept 14.

BT understands that Hundred Trees' 200-unit sales figure as at 6pm yesterday includes nearly 40 units sold on Thursday. All 22 one-bedroom units have been sold and the two-bedders are substantially sold too.

One-bedders were priced from around $498,000 while prices of two-bedroom apartments began from about $655,000.

'The development has a high proportion of smaller units. That makes the lump-sum investment affordable,' observed Knight Frank chairman Tan Tiong Cheng. 'At that kind of price level, they have sold that many units . . . they've done a good job. The project has a nice name: Hundred Trees.

'Demand does not seem to be severely tempered by the recent government measures to cool the market,' he added.

DMG & Partners Securities analyst Brandon Lee said: 'In the mass market, anything priced between $800 psf and $900 psf will sell. Basically, there's a lack of alternative investment options out there amidst the current low interest rate environment and a lack of faith in financial products.'

CDL said yesterday evening that it will be releasing more units in the development to cater to the 'overwhelming response'. Hundred Trees is being marketed by CB Richard Ellis and Huttons.

CDL, part of the Hong Leong Group, is familiar with the West Coast area. In recent years, it has developed Monterey Park Condominium. And recently, it completed Botannia condo, a joint development with CapitaLand. 'CDL knows it's not that easy selling larger units in that location,' a market watcher observed.

Sources said that potential buyers who had submitted blank cheques by Thursday night balloted for queue numbers issued yesterday morning when the showflat opened. The balloting however was for a queue number to enter the showflat, and not for selection of units, unlike the ballot conducted in late July for the sale of units at [email protected] Merah condo.